Working at home is the way of the future. With more and more people working at home the benefits for both the employee and the employer are becoming increasing evident. Not only are there time and money savings on both sides, but with the advent of advanced telecommunication technology like Skype is easier than ever to have remote employees that can still be monitored.
If you currently work for a company without a work from home program, chances are you often wake up wishing that you could just get your work done without the hassle of going into the office and dealing with distractions all day. Instead of feeling frustrated you should see this as your opportunity to convince your boss that you can do your job from home – and possibly revolutionize the way your employer conducts business!
There are different types of bosses ranging from those who are friendly and open-minded to those who are reserved and very set in their ways. Each kind of person does require a slightly different approach, but if you stick to this guide there’s a good chance that you’ll manage to negotiate working from home with even the hardest-headed boss or manager.
Step 1: Do Your Research
You walk into your boss’s office and announce you want to work from home. He then asks you how that will work. You shrug your shoulders. This is the fastest way to have your idea rejected. Don’t walk in expecting your boss to have the answers for you. Do your research – look for other companies in the same line of business as the one you work for who have successful telecommute programs. Come ready with statistics and reputable studies to back up your request. Print this out and arrange it in a file so you have something to leave with your boss at the end of your meeting. Also, take the time to research your own company’s ability to run a work from home program or what may be needed to upgrade the infrastructure.
Step 2: Pick The Best Time
Whether or not your boss has an open door policy is irrelevant. Once you’ve completed your research and you are prepared to meet, send your boss an email requesting time to talk to them about a new productivity idea. Try to get a good chunk of time with them, preferably not after they have spent all day in meetings or when they are tired.
Step 3: Anticipate Questions and Concerns
Part of your preparation should also involve thinking about what questions or concerns your boss will have. Remember they often have superiors to report to as well, so they will need these questions answered. If you can’t give them tangible answers at the meeting you will probably lose them. Also, think about the image your company tries to present. If they are trying to become a greener company then you could lead with how a telecommuting program could help them work toward this goal. Again, be ready with those figures and facts.
Step 4: Speak with Confidence
Practice what you are going to say in the mirror – recite your answers to the questions you think your boss will ask. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact – but don’t stare them down. Show them that you are well informed, creative, and professional – the best kind of employee for a home based office.
Step 5: Show Your Manager How Easy It Will Be To Reach You
This is especially important if you have a manager who micromanages or who doesn’t trust easily. Some bosses still believe that their employees will not do any work without someone standing behind them. Show your manager a few of the ways they could instantly reach you and how you plan to keep them updated about your daily progress.
Step 6: Show Them What’s In It For Them
Once more, you should have research to back you up. Your boss doesn’t want to hear why your idea will work for you – that may make them feel that your suggestion is merely for your own benefit. Approach it from the other side and show them how they can save money on infrastructure and space, retain employees, and benefit from increased productivity.
Step 7: Ask Them For a Trial Period
Your boss probably won’t make a permanent commitment to your idea after the first meeting, but it’s very likely that you will be able to get them to agree to a trial period. Start small with maybe one or two days a month so that you can show them the merits and gain their trust.
Step 8: Deliver
This is the most important part of the process – now that you have your trial period you need to deliver on what you promised. You should endeavor to actually over deliver during this time. If you said you’ll get something done make sure it’s done before the deadline, update your boss as agreed, report on your progress and be available during working hours. Show your manager that you are a trustworthy employee who is capable of working without direct supervision.
Step 9: Stay Involved
Once you’ve started working at home, either permanently or once or twice a week, remember to keep in contact with your co-workers and attend events at the office to show that you are still a team player. Offer to get involved with piloting more work from home projects and help your company with their telecommuting program. Aside from working at home, you’ll probably earn yourself a promotion at the same time!
The key to achieving your work from home aspirations is to present the best case possible to your boss, so don’t rush into it. Take your time to make sure you are well prepared and ready to actually work from home if you get your trial run. Focus on facts and benefits for the company and if there are obstacles be ready with solutions. Your boss must see that you want to improve the company, not just create more work for them. They must see your suggestion as something beneficial for everyone and not just for you. Good luck!